It's too bad that growth now seems to have become a neo-con term. (One would hope progressives would see something in it they might like. Stasis -- homeo or otherwise -- just sounds so conservative.) So the story of evolutionary biology is that we start off with lots and lots of stuff, and end up with the same amount of lots and lots of stuff? We never did just have a couple fish, and end up with a bounty of them?
Atwood -- being somewhat typically Canadian -- finds growth, anxious (so do I, some), and so all this activity has her thinking of resting and quiet talks. Periods of manic economic growth (what we've been living through) make most people anxious. Industrial England made the Cranford ladies extremely uncomfortable -- to the delight of Elizabeth Gaskell! The 1920s were another such period, and its termination was ultimately greeted with a sense of relief (in the Great Depression, there were FEWER suicides -- no joke!). And so ended economic growth. And so ended artistic growth. And so ended societal growth.
I bought a lot. I also experienced a lot. It was what I had to do during this period to live. Now that the societal climate has changed, I won't buy as much, but I'll still find ways to grow.
Link: The Tyee